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Videos: 8 hospitalized by ‘rogue’ wave in Calif.

An ambulance. (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS)
December 29, 2023

A “rogue” wave along the California coastline caused at least eight people to be hospitalized Thursday as massive waves bombarded the city of Ventura and other cities along the coast.

The Ventura County Fire Department shared video footage of the rogue wave, highlighting the “dangerous” nature of the California beaches on Thursday and warning the public to avoid going near the ocean.

“Watch when a rogue wave hits the beach at the end of Seaward Ave in the City of Ventura. This occurred during the high surf advisory at high tide,” the Ventura County Fire Department wrote in a post on social media. “Because of this wave eight people were transported to local hospitals. Currently the beaches are closed in Ventura County and so is the Ventura Pier. For your safety, please avoid the area near the ocean, as it can be quite dangerous.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rogue waves, which can also be described as “killer” or “monster waves,” are caused by unexpected and dangerous swells.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states, “Rogues, called ‘extreme storm waves’ by scientists, are those waves which are greater than twice the size of surrounding waves, are very unpredictable, and often come unexpectedly from directions other than prevailing wind and waves.”

In addition to the rogue wave that hit the city of Ventura, the Sacramento Bee also reported that a massive wave overwhelmed a restaurant patio in Santa Cruz, prompting the county to issue warnings to prepare residents for possible evacuations.

READ MORE: Video: Coast Guard discovers ‘migrant landing’ on Calif. beach: Report

The National Weather Service released a high surf advisory for the region, issued a flood advisory in Carmel, and urged California residents to “stay AWAY from the water!” Encouraging people to “use extreme caution,” the National Weather Service warned, “Waves can EASILY knock people down and sweep them away.”

forecast shared on X, formerly Twitter, earlier this week warned residents that “extremely large northwest swells” could impact the coastal region by Thursday.

The forecast warned, “This developing situation could cause coastal moderate flooding due to the wave heights up to 12 feet to between 18 feet possibly even isolated higher amounts on south-facing beaches.”